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Comic Book / Rahan

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Rahan is a Franco-Belgian School comic following the adventures of Rahan, a prehistoric caveman who wanders the Earth, encountering a wide variety of tribes and challenges on his way.

Wherever he goes, Rahan carries his trademark ivory cutlass, and his collar — one comprised of five claws, each one representing a virtue he tries to live up to; courage, loyalty, generosity, resilience, and wisdom. Nearly Once per Episode, Rahan figures out a new primitive technology to deal with with this issue's challenge.

Rahan provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Rahan, while still only human, is pretty much at the top of his game, being smarter and a better fighter, tracker, hunter, runner, swimmer and all-around human being than most of the people he encounters.
  • Adaptational Modesty: Rahan wears a shirt in the 2009 cartoon.
  • Amusingly Awful Aim: A story has a teenage girl being a terrible shot with the bow. When in the final battle she shoots dead a guy who would have brained Rahan, she's quite surprised, and one of her younger sidekicks snarks that she managed to shoot right for once.
  • Animated Adaptation: Done in France in 1987 and another in 2009, both lasted one season. The latter gives him a sidekick named Ursus.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Rahan regularly encounters dinosaurs. It's made even weirder by the fact that he also comes across regular paleolithic fauna such as mammoths and cave bears. The writers try to handwave the dinosaurs by repeatedly stating that they're leftovers from a bygone age, but it really just comes across as either carelessness or Rule of Cool.
  • Bamboo Technology: Often literally. Including a phone network.
  • Battle Cry: "RAAAHAAAAAAAAAA!!!" He'll use it more often as a victory cry, though.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Most animals are called by their physical characteristics, such as fourhands for monkeys and longteeth for saber-toothed cats.
  • Character Title: The comic is named after Rahan.
  • Doing in the Scientist: The 2009 cartoon features actual magic, in contrast to the comic book source where Rahan would debunk the supernatural almost once per issue.
  • Doomed Hometown: By a volcano, no less.
  • Gag Penis: One short strip has Rahan captured by a tribe of hideous women (he thinks of them as part hyena). Faced with such a horrible fate, he arranges for his ivory knife to cast a very impressive shadow on the cave wall, which terrifies the women away.
  • A God Am I: In a story, an old shaman with a prodigious knowledge of healing is persuaded the spirits made him immortal so he can take care of his "foolish" people forever. A flash flood of which Rahan narrowly rescues him teaches him different.
  • God Guise: Occasionally done by the villain of the issue. Rahan himself does this in one story, passing himself as a divine spirit in order to talk two warring tribes into coexisting peacefully (the ending narration mentions he intends to reveal the whole truth to them once peace is secure).
  • Handsome Heroic Caveman: The heroic protagonist Rahan travels the land, righting wrongs along the way. Even though he also fights dinosaurs and Neanderthals, his approach is often more intelligent than violent: he tries persuading other cavemen to cooperate and help each other, and also makes a lot of useful inventions. Appearance-wise, he has long blonde hair and a chiseled body.
  • The Hero: Rahan himself, very much so.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: A tribal chief lets himself be eaten by piranhas.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: He will usually introduces himself as "Rahan, son of Crao".
  • Improvised Lightning Rod: Rahan once defeats a Tyrannosaurus rex throwback by planting an iron spear into the dinosaur's head during a thunderstorm, thus attracting lightning and frying the T. rex. This scene is also present in the Animated Adaptation, including the opening credits.
  • Loincloth: Rahan and all cavemen's sole clothing, naturally.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: Even when the fauna is not from other geological periods, Rahan may find anything from lemurs to gorillas to the sabertooth cat Smilodon (American, though they may be intended to be its old world ancestor Megantereon, which went extinct before the setting).
  • Monster-Shaped Mountain: An isolated cape that looks like a huge saber-toothed cat at low tide and is all but submerged at high tide.
  • Mushroom Samba: Rahan gets a nasty nightmare after eating some unknown mushrooms while starving after crossing a desert. At first he believes himself to be dead and to have reached the afterlife.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: Despite all the Artistic License – Paleontology, the comic is devoid of any obvious fantasy elements — in fact Rahan very often debunks any claim of magic in the setting. And then, an issue feature him lost in a bizarre world that he thinks at first is the afterlife, with completely fantastic monsters and inexplicable forces. Turns out this is all a dream caused by hallucenogenic mushrooms.
  • Palate Propping: Rahan once manages this while bound hands and feet and offered in sacrifice to a big prehistoric crocodile. He catches a branch between his feet and wedges it between the croc's jaws, who then swims away rather miffed.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: Forget dinosaurs, Rahan has even once been confronted to a Godzilla Expy.
  • Science Hero: Rahan often debunks superstitious beliefs he comes across, be they merely misinterpretations of natural events or the acts of manipulative shamans. He also invents windmills, bridges, rafts, and so many more... Rahan seems determined to single-handedly get humanity out of the Stone Age.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: In one story, Rahan comes across a tribe whose members all risk their lives at one point or another in failed attempts to recover an ancient secret of their ancestors, and have been doing so for many generations. Rahan applies his typical ingenuity to recover the lost secret... which turns out to be a way to make fire, which the tribe had discovered on their own during the intervening generations, making all their sacrifices pointless. Cue Rahan delivering an Aesop about how, while humans should pursue knowledge, they shouldn't do so heedless of the costs.
  • Stone Punk: Rahan invented many technologies in the wild, in this site you can see some.
  • Third-Person Person: Rahan and many other characters talk about themselves at the third person.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Rahan himself takes pride in never having killed a human being. In one issue, he suffers a Heroic BSoD when he believes he broke his own code.
  • Walking the Earth: Rahan is the prehistoric analog of The Drifter, wandering from place to place and righting wrongs.